Industry associations must deliberate on E logs platform enabling Service Improvement Group to address issues on fast track mode
With expeditious resolution of issues, SIG emerges as effective platform for improving logistics efficacy
Industry associations should participate on the E logs platform and deliberate their issues to help Service Investment Group (SIG) address these issues on a fast track mode in line with the National Logistic Policy. This was stated by the Special Secretary, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Logistics Division Ms. Sumita Dawra while chairing the 5th meeting of SIG held in New Delhi yesterday. During the meeting, major issues impacting the trade were successfully resolved to the satisfaction of all the stakeholders.
A bid to elicit pro- active participation of various business/ industry associations, on one hand, and instil enormous confidence amongst them, on the other, was the topmost agenda of the SIG. During the meeting new issues highlighted by the industry associations were deliberated threadbare in addition to the follow up actions on issues raised in the previous meetings.
Meanwhile, a representative from the Visakhapatnam Port Authority (VPA), present in the meeting informed that the priority berthing charges levied by VPA, on all vessels, which discouraged shipping lines calling at the port, are now being withdrawn with charges applicable to only those vessels opting for a priority berthing. This investor friendly initiative will have a direct impact on logistic cost and encourage the shipping lines to call Visakhapatnam port. This significant decision by the VPA was highly appreciated by the industry associations as it was a long-standing issue and now resolved through the SIG.
Besides, additional issues related to reduction of shipping costs and improving drafts at major ports for large size vessel calls were also deliberated during the meeting. However, SIG emphasised the need for rationalisation of shipping cost at all major ports which will enable them to be more competitive and economically viable thus reducing the logistic cost across the country.
Further, with major airport terminal operations being privatised, the emerging need for rationalisation of cost was discussed with the representative from the Ministry of Civil Aviation. Likewise, the consistent demand of the industry on their need of banks accepting the electronic bill of lading (E-way Bill) was an issue which was also discussed to be resolved through appropriate authorities.
Notably, as many as 29 industry/ business associations have been empaneled so far on the E Log portal and provided with user ID and password to directly flag up their issues with the concerned line departments under different ministries for their expeditious resolution.
It may be recalled that the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi had launched the National Logistic Policy on 17th September 2022. Amongst various objectives of the National Logistics Policy, the foremost is to lower the logistics cost in India from its estimated 14% of GDP to a global best of around 8 % by 2030. The policy also aims to make Indian goods more competitive and promotes economic growth and job opportunities in the sector.
It is also envisaged that the policy will facilitate a broad, multi-jurisdictional, cross-functional framework for the growth of the entire logistics ecosystem and will address the concerns of high cost and inefficiency.
Enhancing stakeholder interface and thereby encouraging interoperability and identification of areas for intervention is one of such frameworks of the National Logistic Policy which is named as the ‘Service Improvement Framework’. This involves identification of issues hindering the growth of the sector, particularly of inter -ministerial nature, and resolving the same through appropriate intervention.
These issues may be bottlenecks on processes and procedures hindering ease of doing business and which affects logistic efficiency. It also involves deliberation of long standing logistic related issues and suggest mechanisms to address complex processes, excessive documentation, need for digitalisation and strengthening of the existing mechanism for user interaction such that unresolved issues pertaining to the logistics sector are identified and resolved.
It was in this context that the SIG was set up in the Logistics Division, DPIIT with Special Secretary, Logistics as it’s Chairperson and Convener and Joint Secretary, Logistics as it’s designated Member Secretary. The SIG consists of nodal officers from 13 related ministries which include members from the Department of Revenue, Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Ministry of Ports, Shipping & Waterways, Department of Commerce and NITI Aayog. The SIG interacts with the registered stakeholders through an enabling technological platform named ‘E Logs ’, where logistics related industry associations are given access for posting issues/ pain points requiring the SIG’s intervention.
Major associations like Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), Association of Multimodal Transport Operators of India (AMTOI), Container Shipping lines Association (CSLA), Indian National Shipowners Association (INSA) and Federation of Indian Export Association (FIEO) are few among the many such reputed industry associations from the logistics sector that are currently engaging with the SIG to redress the issues related to the trade. Hence, the objective of the E Logs Portal is to use technology platforms to improve good governance and stakeholder outreach in the logistics sector.